Alumni Awards

Each year, the Mount Marty Alumni Assocation awards the following alumni awards:





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Congratulations to the 2019 Award Winners!

This year, the MMC Alumni Association presented four Alumni Awards at the Honored Classes Luncheon on Saturday, June 22.



The Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes a recent graduate (last 10 years) for demonstrating loyalty to MMC, involvement in Church and Civic activities, and the expression of the MMC mission in his or her life.  This year’s recipient is Jordan Pater.  Jordan grew up in Adrian, Minnesota before attending Mount Marty College beginning in 2010.  He earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology and minor in Sociology in 2014.  While at MMC, Jordan was able to join many different clubs and organizations on campus.  The majority of his time was spent running cross country and track.  Jordan was named an All-Conference GPAC runner four times as well as the school record holder in the cross country 8k.  He also qualified for the National Cross Country meet in 2012 and the National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2013 to run the marathon.  Jordan also served as a captain in both 2013 and 2014 for the Lancers.  He was also very involved with the Student Government Association for three years and served as treasurer for one of those years.  During this time, this student government group worked to bring a color run to Mount Marty and make a new space for the Mount Marty Student Fitness Center on campus.  Campus Ministry, Men’s Spirituality, ASPIRE, Freshmen Orientation Leader, Psychology Club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes were also groups that Jordan was involved with while at Mount Marty.  He felt that being involved with different clubs and organizations would not only help him meet new friends, but also help him find ways to give back to the place that gave him so much.

 Following graduation, Jordan was accepted to the School Counseling program at the University of South Dakota.  The two year program allowed him to stick around Yankton and Mount Marty for a couple more years.  Coach Randy Fischer was happy to have him help coach during this time and he was able to continue to be involved on campus.  Jordan graduated from USD in 2016.  Shortly after, he moved back to Minnesota as an Elementary School Counselor in Adrian.  He married his Mount Marty sweetheart, alumnus Jordyn Hudelson in 2017.  They had the wedding ceremony at the Bishop Marty Chapel and they could not think of a better place to celebrate their marriage.  They welcomed their first son, Benjamin in January.  Because they both graduated from Mount Marty, one could say that Ben is 100% Lancer. 

Jordan tries to continue to stay involved with their Adrian community by doing as much as he can for his school and community through driving bus, stepping in to help with local events, and even attempting to put together a community road race fundraiser for the cross country team this summer.  Jordan is extremely humbled to receive this award.  Even after graduating 5 years ago, he still closely follows Mount Marty.  He truly believes that Mount Marty has greatly shaped the person he is today.  He says that the biggest thing that makes Mount Marty great is the people who come to work every day and they don’t always get the credit they deserve.  He will be forever grateful for the relationships that he made on campus and try to be the best he can be for the people who have always believed in him.  He is thankful for the honor and thanks Mount Marty and says, “Go Lancers!”  



The Distinguished Service to Church and Community Award is given to an alumnus whom exhibits notable leadership abilities in service to their Church and/or community at the local, state, regional, or national level.  Katie (Heine) Pesicka graduated for MMC in May of 2002 with an Education degree.  She spent all four years at Mount Marty and will be forever grateful for all that she learned and all that she became while she was here.  With the tremendous support of her parents, Mount Marty was Katie’s home.  Mount Marty gave her some of the best friendships, and taught her to follow her passions and to learn from her mistakes.  She will forever be thankful for all that MMC means to her.  After graduation, Katie subbed for a year in the Yankton School District and then took a job in Colorado Springs, CO.  She met her husband during her year in Colorado and since he lived in Sioux Falls, she knew that they would want to settle in Sioux Falls to raise a family there.  She moved back to Sioux Falls and taught at Dell Rapids for a year before getting a job at Roosevelt High School where she has been for the last 14 years.  While she LOVES teaching and it truly is a part of who she is, her real story is about her husband and 3 daughters. 

Her husband, David, has supported her and pushed her to be better, love better and live better every day that they have been together, which is over 15 years.  Their greatest accomplishments are their 3 daughters.  Quinn would be 14 this July, but her life was cut short by cancer.  Her pure love of life and love of her family taught Katie more in the 9 years that she was with them than she could have learned in a million lifetimes.  Katie aches for Quinn and thinks of her during the tough times.  Quinn gives her the strength to continue on.  Kinsley is 11 and has the heart and passion and loyalty that Katie strives to have.  Quinn was her best friend and her soulmate and watching Kinsley push on in life even though she has a huge hole in her heart motivates Katie to keep pushing on also.  Avyn is 8 and she is a beautiful blend of her sisters, all while being distinctly herself.  Katie has never been more proud than she is watching her girls crush life.  Their motto since Quinn got sick has been “Have Courage, Be Kind” and they embody that with pure grace. 

Katie is a very humble person that has had a profound impact on the Sioux Falls area and surrounding communities through The Quinn Pesicka Forever Foundation.  This foundation was established in loving memory of Quinn.  The Foundation serves as Quinn’s legacy and has donated well over $14,000 in her memory.  The Foundation provides scholarships for students who demonstrate promise and potential to make a positive difference in the world.  It also provides assistance to families and patients facing and battling a cancer diagnosis.  Katie has steered her grief toward something positive that affects her community around her.  Katie will continue to “have courage and be kind.”  


The Distinguished Service to Mount Marty College Award is given to an alumnus whom is loyal to the Mission of the College, has shown continued interest and support, and reflects honor upon the school with his or her Christian lifestyle.  Kathy Harens is a pillar of Mount Marty College.  As a newly retired 65 year old woman- Kathy looks back and forward to her world of involvement, learning, volunteering, meeting fascinating people and being a very blessed person.  She was born in Huron, SD to Larry and Marge Weniger.  Grandma and Grandpa Schmit lived next door and were just always part of her family.  Uncles and aunts were in and out of her home all the time.  Family is and has always been the center of her life.  She met Paul Harens the evening of her high school baccalaureate which changed her focus from not knowing what she wanted to do to “Let’s go to Huron College.”  In the 70’s, the mood of the nation was of service and education.  Kathy began a special education degree and was going to ‘save the system.’  They got married and moved to Pierre.  They joined St. Peter & Paul Church and they happened to need a Confirmation teacher.  So, she called and started teaching.  She joined the Association of Retarded Children (now renamed), Toastmasters, Welcome Wagon, Alter Society and Jaycees and also judged gymnastics for the South Dakota High School Association.  When Paul and Kathy had their first son Michael in 1978, they were in 16 organizations.  Her boss at the time said she was working on having the longest obituary!  The Harens moved to USD/Vermillion in 1979 where Kathy worked for the Philosophy and Honors Department.  This was a great growing experience and she involved herself with campus activities.  After falling in love with St. Agnes, she called one of the Sisters and told her about her Confirmation background, and she was in!  Kathy joined PEA Society- a service sorority and organized her first marathon for St. Jude’s Hospital.  Kathy had some great experiences that taught her a lot more about the world around her. 

They moved to Yankton in 1980 for a job for Paul at Yankton High School.  Kathy turned to their church of Sacred Heart and met the Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery serving the parish.  She began teaching family program and Confirmation, which lasted around 18 years.  She then began her in-home childcare family and had her second son Nathan.  She joined the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and started the Jr. Catholic Daughters of the Americas program.  After thirteen years of in-home childcare, she continued her ‘life-long learning’ process with taking a class at Mount Marty College.  She finished her degree in 1995.  She spent her 40th birthday with 19 year olds.  She was working at Rexall until Mount Marty called and asked if she would like to come ‘home’ and run the Child Care Center.  This had been her joy for the past 22 years. 

Kathy is looking forward to her volunteering and for new adventures in her retirement.  Volunteering has been a fulfilling, fun, growing and connecting experience in her life and the life of her family.  Kathy encourages everyone here to keep volunteering and sharing your gifts.  In these past 22 years at Mount Marty, Kathy has touched thousands of lives.  I would like to read part of the nomination that I received from one of our alumni.  “Kathy has provided a safe place for children to learn and play, while also serving as an excellent role model and mentor for the MMC work-study students.  She has taught so much to the children in her care and the MMC students working alongside her, even though she has never served as faculty.  Kathy is an amazing person whose energy and presence is far bigger than you would expect from someone her size.  Every child who has been blessed to spend time with her at MMC Childcare is certainly better because of it.  She has loved all the kids in her care just like her own.  The era of MMC Childcare may have come to a close, but the long-lasting impact of the love Kathy Harens has provided is sure to endure for years to come.”  I personally believe every word because when I needed help with my own children, Kathy welcomed them with open arms, and for that I am forever grateful.  Thank you, Kathy for everything you have done for Mount Marty.  We wish you all the best!  


The Distinguished Professional Achievement Award is given to an alumnus whom consistently demonstrates leadership, competence, dedication, integrity, and a commitment to continued education in their chosen profession.  This year’s recipient is Ruth Bryant.  Ruth graduated from Mount Marty College in 1976 with a Nursing degree.  She states that attending Mount Marty College was one of the best decisions she has ever made in her life.  Her education here set her up with a love of inquiry and consequently for the numerous opportunities that she has experienced.  After graduating, Ruth worked in Omaha at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for a couple year and gained a lot of med/surg and medical ICU experience.  She was then hired to be the “ET nurse” or the ostomy care specialist nurse, graduated from an 8 week education program and became board certified.  In 1981, she followed her fiancé up to the Twin Cities.  Ruth worked at the University of Minnesota in their ICU and started her Masters in Nursing, which would give her time to explore what the Twin Cities community of “ET Nurses” was like.  Soon she accepted a position as an ET nurse at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in 1985, which was hugely desirable to her because they were one of the 7 accredited programs in the US that taught ET Nursing. 

This is when the doors really began to open for her.  By 1986, Ruth became very involved in their national professional organization, International Association for Enterostomal Therapy, was president of their regional organization, began to write articles, was a section editor for their Journal, the Journal of ET Nursing, and started speaking on a variety of topics related to ostomy care as well as wound care.  She was on the board of the IAET for many years in different capacities and then became President in 1992 and served for 2 two-year terms. They made some very significant and lasting changes during her term on the Board and her presidency.  They changed their name to Wound Ostomy Continence nurses (WOC nurses) and implemented a conflict of interest position statement and policy.  The most significant was their work to obtain Medicare coverage of wound care dressings, which required rewriting a section of the Medicare policy and writing the definitions, codes and utilization parameters to guide the use of these dressings that the regional durable medical suppliers would adopt.  Ruth edited the first wound care textbook in 1992 and co-edited an ostomy care textbook at the same time.  The Acute and Chronic Wounds textbook is now in its 5th edition.

 In 1992, her and her husband moved to Oklahoma City.  One of her biggest accomplishments was adopting her two sons.  She also started her PhD while in Oklahoma but moved back to the Cities before completing the program.  Upon returning to the Twin Cities, her and a colleague decided to create a web based WOC nursing education program.  Prior to this time, the only way to learn WOC nursing was to relocate to one of the 5-8 centers in the US for a 6-8 week course.  This was in 1999 before the general public had the level of technology needed to conduct group conference calls or share screens.  This program continues to be very successful today and enrolls around 250 students annually.  In 2011, Ruth moved to a small town in Montana and enrolled in the Washington State University College of Nursing PhD program in Spokane.  After being a Teaching Assistant for 2 years, Ruth realized she would need to move to Spokane to participate more fully in the education environment.  During her program, she was honored with several different awards.  In 2015, she was named a finalist for her Graduate Poster Presentation Award from the Western Institute of Nursing.  Ruth received a $9,000 grant from Sigma Theta Tau International as a co-investigator to conduct a research study call the Benefits of and Barriers to Patient Engagement with Reduction of Harm.  They were able to publish two research articles on this topic with the results being published earlier this year.  In 2016, she received 2nd place during a competition presenting her dissertation while only using one slide. Ruth received the Best Gerontology Student Presentation, Excellence in Research, and the Best PhD Student honors in 2017.

 She is now back in the Twin Cities working at Abbot Northwestern Hospital as the Director of Nursing Research.  She conducts her own funded research there and has the opportunity to facilitate learning about and implementing clinical inquiry and evidence based practice in the clinical setting.  In addition to her memberships in many nursing and wound care organizations, Ruth is currently the President Elect of the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care.  

2018 Jesse Bailey, Amy Majeres Bailey, Joanne Wagner Osnes, Greg Wagner, Carol Brummels Stewart, Javier Murguia
2017 Daniel Filsinger, Robert Kappel, Sister Madonna Schmitt, Amy Brady Lein, Daniel Wagner
2016 Raelynn Coldwell, Frank “Bink” Crisler, Father Thomas Wordekemper, Sister Matthew Wehri, Shawn Gallagher
2015 Mary Pistulka
2014 Jill Orton, Deb Fischer-Clemens, Brock Sundall, S. Penny Bingham
2013 Dennis Heine
2012 Sister Candyce Chrystal, Dan Specht
2011 Deidre Flaherty, Jon Swegarden
2010 Sister Aidan Bourke, Norm Kunselman, Marilyn Pates
2008 Sister Patricia Heirigs, Marvin Veasy, Francis G. Tramp, Dagen Valentine
2007 Sister Cynthia Binder, Phyllis Kneifl Getz, Janet Holzman Beattie, Corey Wittrock
2006 Mary Elizabeth Eisenman Carson, Rev. David Korth, Kayleen Tyrrell Lee, Dr. James Dufek, Nathan V. Johnson
2005 Mary Lois Hunhoff Gibson, S. Ramona Fallon, Dr. Janet Serie, Bernadette Standaert Obert, Doris Parisien Fiedler
2004 Christine Lang Pharr, Carol Kippes Pistulka, S. Marcine Quintus, Gene & Angela Holmes Elder
2003 Alice Jensen Hoesing, Shirley Skrdla Musich, S. Consuelo Chavez, Jason Pistulka
2002 Carol Schmitt Bennett-Dorsey, Myrna Brennick, Denise Proctor, Theresa Swier
2001 Frances Murray Flaherty, Suzanne Reisch Dufek, Marilyn Van Gerpen Ter Maat, S. Kara Payer
2000 George Munn, Marian Dendinger Pyper, Ruth Kornely, Tom Buckmiller

1999 Charles Stastny, Janet Holzman Beattie, Kelly Heller
1998 Rosaleen Doom Krames, Cheryl Commers Hanks, Kayleen Jorgensen Deacon, Scott Swier
1997 Lucille Kribell O'Connor, Kathryn O'Leary Higgins, Norma German Doyle, Dave Abbott
1996 Dr. Mary Shon, S. Jacquelyn Ernster, Alice Baumberger Gannon, Tim Dingman
1995 Kent Lethcoe, Alice Jensen Hoesing, Kathleen Spitzenberger Roehl, Dorothy Stoll
1994 S. Marie Helen Werdel, Barbara Hickey Kramer, Christine Lang Pharr, Michelle Peak
1993 Thomas K. Harmon, Nancy Werner, Brigid Flanagan, David Allen Lyons
1992 Jolene Schwarz Sokol, David Knips, David Fletcher, Michael Klimisch
1991 Joan Rossiter Burney, S. Inez Welchert, S. Adrienne Kaufmann, Matthew Dvorak
1990 S. Mary Arthur Schramm, JoAnn Stransky Thistlewood, Mary Alice Lacey Feltham, Fran Davey Hassler

1989 S. Virgil Koch, Kay Johnson Deacon, Frances Biegelmeier Lowenstein, Sue Boyum Ressler
1988 Arliss Johnson, Joy Hentges Jenkins, S. Rosalie Sitzmann, Br. Nick Feyerisen
1987 Jess Wolf, Donna Meirose, S. Rosaria Kranz (deceased), John Glidden
1986 S. Roswitha Zavadil (deceased), S. Harriet Gobel, Kathleen Lahr Keller, Geri Weiland Loecker
1985 S. Rhoda Foecke (deceased), Norman Kunselman, Cecilia Rokusek, Gary Wagner, Katie O'Donnel Wagner, Terry Wensing, Pam Oberembt Wensing
1984 Adeline Andersen Morck (deceased), Connie Mentele Kass, Janice Joffer Thompson, Tim Glidden
1983 Paula Kertzman Tacke, Rev. Guy Gau, Mary Anne Post Rhomberg, Jeanne Pride Parker
1982 Bernard Hunhoff, Cleopha Fanslow Gumbinger, Viola Breen Bauder, James Dufek
1981 Ruth Landsberger Vickers, S. Kevin Irwin, S. Laurina Kaiser, Dan Wagner
1980 Francine Dold, Ceil Connelly (deceased), Gloria Tysl, Norman Kunselman

1979 Jeanette Dangel, Cecilia Rokusek
1978 S. Phyllis Hunhoff, Fred Ertz
1977 Kathleen Bouska, Dennis Fokken
1976 Florence Rossiter, Paula Kertzmann Tacke
1975 Rita Amberg Waldref
1974 S. Evangeline Anderson
1973 S. Julia Hunhoff
1972 S. Wilma Lyle